1 game, £170 million, and only 1 goal; promotion. It’s a winner takes all game this weekend as Middlesbrough and Brighton do battle for football’s ultimate prize; a place in the Premier League. Stakes couldn’t be higher, a win for either side sees them up, with the draw being favourable to Middlesbrough, but this is the type of game where form, stats and previous results go out the window, it just comes down to who has the bottle to get the job done. So sit back and try to enjoy it, as Brighton try and seal a place in England’s top flight since 1983.
George Friend will have a late fitness check ahead of the game ,as he recovers from a groin injury which has kept him out since the Burnley game 2 weeks ago, however Aitor Karanka had no other injury concerns. Jordan Rhodes lead the way in terms of most goals (16), but 10 were for Blackburn, otherwise David Nugent is top scorer with 8.
FACT; Boro have won 14 of their 22 games this season and have kept 15 clean sheets.
Lewis Dunk is unavailable after being sent off on Monday, so Gordan Greer is set to replace him and skipper the side. Chris Hughton will look to keep the same team, but might revert to 4-5-1 to not get caught by Boro’s offensive power. Tomer Hemed looks set to fall short of scoring 20 this season, he is still stuck on 17.
FACT; Brighton have won 5 of their last 6 away games, but they have conceded in their last 4.
Earlier In The Season: BHAFC - MFC (19/12/15);
It was a painful end to a great run, the unbeaten run was crushed and blown up by Middlesbrough after a expert display. Goals from Kike, Albert Adomah and Cristian Stuani sealed the 3 points which sent them clear at the top of the table.
Boro have won 8 of the 15 games played between the 2 and haven’t lost in the last 4 (3W, 1D). Brighton last victory over Boro was at the Riverside back in December 2013, but have since struggled against them only scoring once in the last 4 games, and conceding 7.
Bruno, Goldson, Greer, Rosenior;
Knockaert, Kayal, Stephens, Skalak;
Middlesbrough 1-1 Brighton